Utica men’s hockey team adds UCHC accolades
Top-ranked Utica University claimed two top United Collegiate Hockey Conference honors as the team’s wildly successful season continues.
Junior Jayson Dobay earned the UCHC Defensive Player of the Year award and was also named to the conference’s First Team.
Meanwhile, Gary Heenan earned the UCHC’s coach of the year honor for the third time after claiming the award during the 2019-20 and 2021-22 seasons.
Heenan and the Pioneers went 20-0-0 in the conference for the first time since entering the UCHC. Utica has a 25-game undefeated stretch, which is a program record, according to the school.
Dobay and Heenan are among eight from Utica to earn UCHC honors, which were announced Tuesday.
Dobay has been key for the Pioneers, who have allowed 49 total goals over 27 games this season. Utica ranks tied for fifth with Wisconsin-Stevens Point in NCAA Division III in scoring defense at 1.81.
Dobay also has five goals and 32 assists to lead the team with 37 points. His assists have him tied for the single-season record for assists, which was set by teammate Justin Allen last season.
Allen, forward Remy Parker and goalie Bryan Landsberger also earned first team honors. Forwards Mic Curran and Dante Zapata and defenseman Kimball Johnson are on the second team.
Allen, who missed seven games with an injury according to the school, has four goals and 16 assists while also being a key factor on defense. Earlier in the season, he became the seventh Utica player to amass 100 career points and is the first defenseman program history to reach the milestone. This is the fifth All-UCHC honor.
Parker’s 23 goals are most goals in a season for the Pioneers and he is tied for first in UCHC for total goals. He also has 12 assists and is third on the team in points with 35.
Landsberger is the second Utica goalie to receive first team honors since the team moved to the UCHC. In 27 games, Landsberger has a 1.75 goals-against average, a .925 save percentage. Landsberger’s 24 wins are most in a season in program history. Nationally, Landsberger’s GAA is 11th-best and save percentage is 28th in Division III.
Curran has 12 goals and 24 assists this season, putting his 36 points second-most on the team. In the UCHC, Curran is eighth in goals, third in assists, and fourth in total points.
Zapata was another key offensive player for Utica, totaling 10 goals and 21 assists and is fifth on the team in points. Zapata’s 112 career points rank in the top five for Utica. This is the third All-UCHC honor for Zapata.
Kimball Johnson is another key player on defense. He has five goals and 21 assists, which is tied for third on the team and is tied for fifth in the conference.
Utica is looking to claim its second consecutive conference championship. Utica is set to host unranked Nazareth College at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Adirondack Bank Center. Utica outscored Nazareth 10-2 in two games in late-January.
Tickets are on sale for season-ticket holders through Wednesday and will go on sale to the general public at 10 a.m. Thursday. The first 2,500 fans in attendance for Saturday’s game will receive a rally towel.
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